VIERA, Fla. – Stephen Strasburg contended with some nerves and location issues during his spring-training debut Tuesday. Other than that, he was pretty impressive.

Strasburg threw two scoreless innings in the Washington Nationals’ 9-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers, responding well to the hoopla surrounding his first exhibition start.

“There was a lot of adrenaline flowing today,” he said. “It’s just great to get my feet wet because I know what to expect next time.”

Strasburg threw 15 of his 27 pitches for strikes and allowed two hits — successive two-out singles by Don Kelly and Alex Avila in the second. But he finished off Brent Dlugach with a bending, 81 mph breaking ball for an inning-ending strikeout.

“I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes,” Strasburg said. “If they hit it, they hit it. Big deal. I have enough confidence in my stuff that if I can go out there and make them put the ball in play, I’ve got a great defense behind me that’s going to back me up.”

Strasburg was selected with the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft and received a record $15.1 million, four-year contract from the Nationals. He went 13-1 in his final season with San Diego State, leading Division I in ERA (1.35) and strikeouts (195 in 109 innings).


METS: Johan Santana struggled in his first game since August, allowing four runs on six hits in 12/3 innings, and Houston beat New York 8-4 at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

• Shortstop Jose Reyes has an overactive thyroid and is expected to remain in New York while the results of additional blood tests are used to determine his treatment.

• Right-hander Mike Pelfrey returned after being sidelined by a sore right leg.


WILLIE DAVIS, a speedy center fielder who collected two World Series rings, three Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star during his 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, died at 69.


YANKEES: Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner, said the team won’t alter its policy against contract extensions, and will deal with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Joe Girardi after the season.

• Mark Newman, the team’s senior vice president of baseball operations, was charged with driving under the influence in Tampa, Fla.


ORIOLES: Second baseman Brian Roberts felt ill, hampering his rehabilitation for a back injury.


BLUE JAYS: Right-hander Dustin McGowan, trying to make it back from shoulder surgery, threw 30 pitches during a simulated game at the minor league complex while the rest of the team had the day off.


RAYS: Hank Blalock, a two-time All-Star, agreed to a minor league contract with Tampa Bay.


RANGERS-YANKEES: Texas acquired right-hander Edwar Ramirez from New York for cash.


ROYALS: Catcher Jason Kendall returned to spring training, and said his divorce and child custody case won’t be a distraction.

• Rick Ankiel homered and drove in four runs as Kansas City rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat an Oakland split-squad 11-10 at Surprise, Ariz.


GIANTS: Second baseman Freddy Sanchez began taking swings off a tee and considers himself ahead of schedule as he recovers from a procedure on his non-throwing left shoulder.


RANGERS: Rich Harden, in his second outing with Texas, gave up four runs on two hits in 22/3 innings. He struck out four, walked three and threw a wild pitch in an 8-8 tie with an Oakland split-squad at Phoenix.


ANGELS: Hideki Matsui made his spring debut for Los Angeles, getting a single in two trips to the plate during a 6-5 victory against San Diego at Tempe, Ariz.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.